Every document, relic and memory relating to this history is special. Each item is invaluable.
A special thank you to Giuseppe Lutro’s family for sharing another ‘missing piece to our historical puzzle’.
Giuseppe was from Albidoni Cosenza and is seated third left in the photo below.
Yanco, Australia. 23 January 1944. Group of Italian prisoners of war (POWs) interned at No. 15 POW Group. Back row, left to right: 49640 Luigi La Favia; 47004 Luciano Zanon; 47915 Giovanni Bronzi; 49591 Pietro Perazzi; 49913 Quinto Spognetta; 49663 Carmine Ialongo; 48679 Angelo Tergorelli. Front row: 49858 Lorenzo Laurenti; 45570 Cesare De Angelis; 48160 Giuseppe Lutro; 46813 Pietro Salerno; 46889 Mario Paolocci. Note: The number is an assigned POW number. (AWM Image 030171/11 Photographer Geoffrey McInnes)
His Service and Casualty Card record his repatriation date: 31st December 1946 “Ormonde” but with thanks to Giuseppe we also know his arrival date in Naples Italy: 27th January 1947.
Giuseppe kept his arrival card Nave “Ormonde” 27-1.47. This card also confirms that part of the process upon arrival in Naples was to report to the Accommodation Centre in Naples (San Martino).
Recognition of Landing 27-1-1947 (photo courtesy of Nicola Lutro)
Logistically, I have always wondered how the Italian prisoners of war were processed upon arrival in Naples. How did the Australian guard unit convey to the Italians the next stage of the process? The Ormonde landed 2231 Italians.
Now I know. With thanks to Giuseppe Lutro, I now know that the Italian military officials had printed cards, to be distributed to each man as he disembarked. The card provided information for the next stage of the journey: to report to the Accommodation Centre.
This was most likely the first official document written in Italian the men had read in seven years. Finally, they were almost home.